Washington Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo was a guest on the NFL Network and says things are looking up for the home team. Um, what else was he going to say?
Warren Sapp led the discussion in two directions, expectations for 2012 and (what else) Robert Griffin III. Lets start with that.
RG3 has the "it" factor, a combination of leadership and modesty that impresses Orakpo. Griffin III beats Orakpo to Redskins Park every day. Griffin III isn't under contract yet. That impresses me.
Most of the talk was what fans could expect from the 2012 Redskins. "Consistent intensity," says Orakpo. The players must bring the same intensity they brought against the New York Giants. Washington swept New York for their only two wins against NFC East opponents. The Redskins lost two winnable games against the Cowboys and just looked stupid against the struggling Eagles.
Consistency was difficult after the Bye, notes Orakpo, although he is not sure why. Everyone stayed in the DC area and trained at Redskins Park during the Bye week. Things did not fall in place for the team.
Washington got off to a fast 3-1 start before their Week Five Bye, leading nitwits Michael Irvin and Deion Sanders to tag Rex Grossman the best quarterback in the Beast (rofl). The Redskins won two games after the Bye (smh).
Players have high expectations for this season, but are low key about it. At that point, Orakpo said, "It's a perfect time to be a Redskins fan. We are ready to take that next step"
Ryan Kerrigan has a non-stop motor, says Orakpo and is one reason for team optimism.
In a hint of what's to come, Rac says defenders are getting slimmer, backs are getting more "scat back" and fans will see more four and five receiver sets. It sounds like Coach Shanahan is building a faster team.
Orakpo and London Fletcher are the leaders of the core strength of the Redskins — the defensive front seven. That defense gets a boost with the return of DE Jarvis Jenkins.
For all the legitimate excitement about Griffin III, it is players already on the team who will lead any resurgence in 2012. Fletcher is a find by Joe Gibbs and Gregg Williams. Orakpo and Fred Davis are here courtesy of Vinny Cerrato. (Credit where it's due.) Add the young guns (Helu, Hankerson, Kerrigan, Gomes, Jenkins) and veteran contributors (Carriker, Bowen, Cofield) brought in by Shanahan and Bruce Allen and you have a lot to like about the 2012 Redskins.
I will wait until exhibition games to call the season. The Redskins are rebuilding, though Shanahan won't use the R-word. That is how winning franchises are built.
Snyderrato built the team as if it was a music concert with a headline star and a chorus of little people. That was Hobbit logic. The more shortcuts they took, the farther they were from a title.
Better days are ahead for Washington.
Link to Brian Orakpo on NFL Total Access